2013-02-21 / Editorial

Did you ride the ferry to high school?


From left, Jamestowners Bernice Smith, Sandra Sceeles, Joyce Nunes and Judy Garlick took the ferry each day to get to Roger’s High School in Newport. 
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JAMESTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY From left, Jamestowners Bernice Smith, Sandra Sceeles, Joyce Nunes and Judy Garlick took the ferry each day to get to Roger’s High School in Newport. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JAMESTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Life was much different in Jamestown in the mid- 1900s. One example is taking a trip across Narragansett Bay to Newport. Today one simply gets in a car and drives across the bridge. However, before the Newport Pell Bridge was opened in 1969, one had to board the ferry to embark on a journey across the water to Newport.

It was all part of the island life that has slowly disappeared over the years.

Back in those pre-bridge days, Roger’s High School in Newport was the island’s school of record and the majority of high school students living in Jamestown rode the ferry to and from school.

Those former high school students have many interesting stories to share about their ferry trips. Just read the story on Page 1 of this newspaper for one good example.

The ferries are now long gone and soon, so will be the memories. That’s why several Jamestowners have joined together on an oral history project to preserve those stories and recollections. If you rode the ferry to high school in Newport, we would like to talk to you.

We plan to schedule interviews to talk about your experiences on the ferryboats. In order to be contacted for an interview, please call the Jamestown Press office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, or Tuesday, Feb. 26.

If that time is not convenient to call the Press, you can call the following week between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday or Tuesday.

We plan to record these interviews so that many years from now future Jamestowners will be able to enjoy this small part of our island’s history. We hope all former ferry-riding high school students will want to participate in this worthwhile project.

— Jeff McDonough

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